Day 36-Quarantine-Car Doctor

Today was doctor day for the Deathstar. I took my Toyota Avalon to the dealer for service. For the very first time since 2005 I overran the recommended oil change mileage. Since this car has given me the best reliability and service of any other that I have owned I wanted to continue adhering to the maintenance practices I began when I bought it.

2005 Toyota Avalon, I fondly named it the Deathstar.
1983 Mercury Sable, I got Christmas cards from the tow company every year
1992 Oldsmobile Intrigue-I really loved this car

At the beginning I had the oil changed every three thousand miles which was the recommended practice of all the American auto makers for many years. After four years of this, Toyota came out with new mileage guidelines and set the marker at five thousand miles. I have driven this car for more miles than any other car I have owned by a large margin. I have owned two previous cars a Mercury Sable which made it to 110,000 miles and followed by an Oldsmobile Intrigue which I sold at 120,000 miles. My Avalon is currently at 158,000 miles and might be the final car in my life.

I am not afraid to push this car hard, I have driven it at 100 mph for extended miles when traveling the western states on very good roads. I have loaded it with all types of equipment and materials as one would use a truck for. I have driven it in the extremes, 110 degrees F through the desert of Arizona and -30 degrees F in the Chicago area. Most of the miles were racked up while traveling the USA and Canada on interstate highways, but many miles were driven on the gravel pothole filled back roads of the country. One thing I have never done is to race with the car. I learned my lesson once when as a much younger man I accepted a challenge to drag race a youngster while driving my GMC van. The van had a very big motor and was notorious for it’s ability to haul ass. The light turned green and I floored the accelerator. Much to my surprise my opponent streaked out ahead of me. My van went clunk and coasted across the intersection. I blew the transmission. I was lucky to get home by driving slowly in low-low gear.

When I reserved my spot with the dealer I asked what kind of protective gear I should wear. The attendant told me they practiced social distancing and wiped down all the chairs between customers. When I arrived, much to my surprise the waiting area was set up so every other lounge chair was removed and the ones that were there were six feet apart. I bought my computer so I could continue to read my book, and as I sat in the bar area I witnessed an employee come through and wipe down all the seats with disinfectant.

2020 Camry TRD

2020 World’s Ugliest Car

I resisted any impulse to buy a new car, although I spotted a special sport model Camry which I liked. If the Avalon model looked as good as that Camry, I would have driven home in a new car. Unfortunately for the dealer I happen to think the 2020 Avalon is the ugliest car every made by anyone. The entire time I was waiting I never came in close contact with anyone except the service advisor and I stayed six feet away from her. She handed me my credit card holding it by the edges.

On my drive home I took the interstate highway and found traffic to be just a tad less than normal for the time of day. Going to the dealer, I took a state hwy that passes through Frankfort, and traffic was non-existent. Gasoline prices vary from $1.99/ gallon in Frankfort, to $1. 35/ gallon in Bourbonnais where the dealer is located. As usual, I had just filled my tank in Frankfort yesterday so I didn’t need gas.

Yesterday in a Zoom meeting with my Tuesday night Stray Bar Club friends, I promised to stop and visit Bob and Carol from Manteno a town next to the dealer. In the interest of staying COVID-19 free, I opted out of the visit. I also skipped my usual stop at the Farm and Fleet store where I load up on bird seed when I am in the neighborhood. Instead, I rushed home to the solitude of my castle where I have not seen, nor heard a single soul except for the news broadcaster on TV. This too shall pass.

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